The Theories Of Durkheim 's Theory On Suicide Essays

1955 Words Dec 13th, 2016 8 Pages
Part A4 In Durkheim’s book, On Suicide, he indirectly uses his theories of mechanical and organic solidarity, the division of labour and the evolution of the family in many of his arguments. However, these theories are the foundation of his study of suicide and therefore, one cannot properly analyze his study of suicide without have some knowledge regarding his main theories. This essay will outline the role of his earlier theories in Durkheim’s arguments in On Suicide.
Mechanical solidarity can be characterized as members of a particular society that are very similar to one another. They consist of smaller, more rural populations that were homogeneous. Families are grouped together forming small societies or are referred to as ‘clans’ (Durkheim 1933:177). A person’s identity and occupation are predetermined based on the dynamic of their family. Connections among individuals are based on customs handed down from families and they feel an obligation to other people. The population will usually have a shared set of values and beliefs or a common conscience, which is constituted on the basis of religion (1933). There is little freedom in terms of choosing one’s careers or marital partner as it is based on a kinship system.
Durkheim describes a shift in mechanical solidarity as societies progressed into a more organic society. For Durkheim, an organically constructed society is one where every person has a particular role that serves to the smooth functioning of a more…

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